In addition to #ClimateWeekNYC, two crucial summits took place at the UN Headquarters in New York under the overall theme of accelerating action on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and climate change.

With all of these events taking place concurrently, New York became the epicentre of international discussions on tackling the climate crisis, bringing together key actors from around the globe.

Below is a brief summary of these three events – and the role of Climate Strategies at this key moment in climate history.

SDG Summit – Monday 18th September 2023

As the second meeting of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development since the 2030 Agenda was adopted in 2015, this summit marked the “half-time” moment for implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Leaders adopted a Political Declaration which laid out a series of solutions for advancing progress towards the SDGs, including:

  • Support for UN Secretary-General António Guterres’s proposal for an SDG stimulus of at least $500bn annually, as well as a more effective debt-relief mechanism.
  • Scaling up and fulfilling ODA commitments.
  • Reforming international finance architecture, particularly multilateral development bank programmes, to better support poorer nations.
  • Encouraging the use of a multidimensional vulnerability index to inform concessional finance decisions.

Climate Ambition Summit – Wednesday 20th September 2023

This summit focused on accelerating the just transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient global economy.

The summit began by showcasing the action being taken by “first mover and doer” leaders from government, business, finance, local authorities and civil society who came with “credible actions, policies and plans – and not just pledges” to drive decarbonisation and deliver climate justice.

This was followed by three thematic sessions and a special meeting on loss and damage. Key messages from these sessions included:

  • Greenwashing is a distraction from real efforts.
  • There are partnerships being formed to deliver adaptation finance and joint commitments to develop early warning systems.
  • Clean energy is moving very quickly, resulting in clear emissions improvements in the power and transportation sectors.
  • Decarbonisation of industry is lagging behind (e.g. one ton of steel emits the same amount as it did 20 years ago).
  • There is a need to ensure fairness in extracting and refining critical minerals required for the clean transition.

Climate Week NYC – 17th – 24th September 2023

Hosted by Climate Group, Climate Week NYC 2023 was bigger than ever before – with 75,000 activists demanding climate action in the streets of New York, major leaders promising progress and international media turning a spotlight on this city to highlight discussions.

Climate Week NYC was organised around 10 themes:

  1. Built environment
  2. Energy
  3. Environmental justice
  4. Transport
  5. Finance
  6. Sustainable living
  7. Nature
  8. Policy
  9. Industry
  10. Food

The role of Climate Strategies at Climate Week NYC 2023

At Climate Strategies, we always work hard to provide knowledge-based insights and actionable evidence to make sure policy implementation and on-the-ground action can happen effectively and be embraced by all key affected stakeholders.

The in-person and virtual events that we ran at Climate Week NYC brought together researchers, policymakers and NGOs to discuss the latest evidence to help tackle the climate crisis.

Tackling Oil and Gas Expansion Through Just Transitions

Our Oil and Gas Just Transitions event focused on the following questions:

  • Can oil and gas expansion co-exist with a net zero by 2050 pathway?
  • How can a Just Transition enable the implementation of credible net zero pledges and a progressive oil and gas phase-out?
  • What is the role of developed economies like the US and North Sea countries in spearheading the transition? 

“Just Transitions” have become a hot topic within international discussions on climate and this was particularly true at Climate Week NYC.

Speakers at our event included Kelly Trout (Oil Change International), Ploy Achakulwisut and Felipe Sanchez (Stockholm Environment Institute) and Siân Bradley (Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance).

We focus on Just Transitions in several of our projects – particularly the South to South Just Transitions project, Oil and Gas Transitions project and the Coal Regions in Transition projects.

The Interactions Between International Climate Finance & Domestic Policies

We launched four brand-new reports from our SNAPFI project at this event, all focused on addressing the information gap on climate finance and supporting the implementation of national climate and development policies.

Speakers included researchers from TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute, India), the University of Cape Town, the Center for Sustainability Studies of Fundação Getulio Vargas (Brazil), Bandung Institute of Technology (Indonesia) and DIW Berlin.

Advancing Net-Zero through Just Energy Transitions

The EEIST project uses cutting-edge economic modelling to identify policies that can enable communities to capture the opportunities of just transitions. The unique approach of the EEIST project means that this research could advance the conversations on Just Transitions taking place during key international climate discussions.